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View Full Version : 2-axis or 3-axis DRO for a Bridgeport?



SteveG_CT
06-18-2009, 10:10 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm trying to make the final decision on the DRO for the Bridgeport I am buying. I think I have decided on an Anilam Wizard 411 as the dealer can get me a good deal on this model but I am undecided as to whether I should have it set up for 2 axes or 3 axes. The dealer I am buying the mill from will be installing the DRO for me prior to delivery and I am told that there will be no difference in the cost of installation for a 2-axis or 3-axis setup.

Is having a digital scale for the quill worth the extra $200 in the cost of the hardware? I'm undecided on this. Can anyone relate some situations where having a digital scale on the quill has been particularly useful to help me make the decision?

Thanks,
Steve

tattoomike68
06-18-2009, 10:21 PM
thats like asking 2 wheel drive or 4 wheel drive truck whats better?

get the 3 axis if you got the bucks.

smiller6912
06-18-2009, 10:27 PM
If you only get 2 you will regret it........
For the little bit of price difference, it's better to have and not need than to need and not have.

doctor demo
06-18-2009, 10:33 PM
I had a BP clone for years with no dro, I did all I wanted to do ...didn't have it didn't miss it. Then I traded (up) to a BP EZ-Trak with 3 axis dro... now I want to add a scale to the knee to complement the quill.
Having a dro is kinda like knowing how to do math ,but having a calculator ya just don't put pencil to paper any more .


Steve

toastydeath
06-18-2009, 10:36 PM
I don't understand DRO's on the quill. All that I've ever used one for is hitting my head on the scale when I'm trying to get a close up look.

I wouldn't ever spend the money on a quill scale; I would very quickly spend more money on a 3rd axis and longer scale for the knee.

Highpower
06-18-2009, 10:42 PM
Is having a digital scale for the quill worth the extra $200 in the cost of the hardware? I'm undecided on this. Can anyone relate some situations where having a digital scale on the quill has been particularly useful to help me make the decision?

Steve
Would it be worth the money to you, to be able to instantly set the depth of cut on your next pass with a milling cutter? Or drill a blind hole to a specific depth without having to rely on a roughly marked scale and pointer on the front of the quill?

Go for the Z..... ;)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v82/Highpwr/Projects/Machines.jpg

SteveG_CT
06-18-2009, 11:20 PM
Alright, you've convinced me. I'll dig a little deeper into my wallet and go for the 3-axis setup.

Mcgyver
06-18-2009, 11:28 PM
I don't understand DRO's on the quill. All that I've ever used one for is hitting my head on the scale when I'm trying to get a close up look.

I wouldn't ever spend the money on a quill scale; I would very quickly spend more money on a 3rd axis and longer scale for the knee.

agreed. i don't have a dro but have been thinking of it and thought the same, the 3 axis packages have a short Z for the quill would seem to be of limited use....what am i missing because they all seem to be packaged that way. when dimensioning you want the quill fully retracted and locked. otoh i wouldn't put a 2 on, I'd wait until i could afford the 3 but with the Z on the knee

.RC.
06-18-2009, 11:52 PM
I wouldn't ever spend the money on a quill scale;

I did and now I know I wasted money on getting a Z axis read out as well...I simply do not use the Z axis anymore other then for initial placement of the knee...

Jim Shaper
06-18-2009, 11:52 PM
Z on the knee is a real joy to use. I only use the quill scale for rough dimensions or to set a specific starting point to zero the knee to. I absolutely HATE using a mill that lacks it.

2 axis is better than using the wheel dials, but you're not working in 2 dimensions now are ya? ;)

lakeside53
06-19-2009, 12:41 AM
Yep.. I'm with Jim!

gnm109
06-19-2009, 01:02 AM
I just bought a two axis Mitutoyo DRO on my Webb 4VH and I'm going to add a Mitutoyo Quill scale when I can find a decent price on one. I've used a Mill with two and three and both are nice. For my home hobby items, two axis is just fine.

There are many Bridgeports and similiar turret mills set up with two axis that are use in professional settings.

If you think you might have a need for three axes, by all means buy a three axis DRO. A two axis setup with a quill scale will do me just fine.

.

John Stevenson
06-19-2009, 03:54 AM
Just my personal take on it.

My Bridgy had an old Heidenhain 2 axis DRO on it when I bought it, nothing special just a straight readout.

I fitted a 25 Chinese vertical scale to the head almost straight away and use it a lot, most times I only use the knee for placement.

The Chinese scale allows me to touch on the work, bring to final depth and set the screwed stop very quickly and accurately, also bear in mind I work mainly in metric and this is an imperial machine.

Two years ago the DRO died and I had to replace it double quick time because of the metric factor.
I could get a 3 axis for 50 more so to me that was no contest but what to do.

Put the 3rd axis on the knee or quill ? As I was happy with the Chinese scale on the quill I decided to fit it to the knee, got the DRO, fitted X and Y up easily as all the mountings were there and I could carry on with the work.

Knee DRO is still in the box..................

Just remember a knee DRO is no use if you are working with the head tilted and need the quill feed, like boring valve seats / guides in a hemi head.

.

Timleech
06-19-2009, 04:24 AM
When I got my current mill a few months ago, I wanted to get a 3-axis kit for it but the budget import I had in mind was no longer available here because of the big exchange rate changes. Instead, I adapted the 2-axis set from a lathe which I'd broken up, for the table. I'd had an old Anilam Micro-Wizard 2-axis set kicking around for years, bought secondhand for a job and never used, fitted that to the knee and quill as the short scale was the exact length for the quill travel. I had to make up a special bracket for the boxes, including some provision for allowing the turret to swing through 180 degrees for horizontal milling. So far I'm very pleased with the setup.
One thing to remember is that the manual dial on the knee is usually reliable, because the forces are in one direction only, but most original quill dials or scales are in my limited experience next to useless.

Tim

Carm
06-19-2009, 05:06 AM
I'll remind you it's NBD to fit a quickly detachable DI to your quill if you're mulling where to put the DRO.